OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

Highway Business Signs 101: Is there a wait-list to be on a sign?

Posted on: February 24th, 2012 by Madeline MacGregor in Sign Programs | 2 Comments

Image of an Oregon highway business signIf you’re considering an Oregon highway business sign as an alternative to *advertising, you might be eager to see your logo represented on one of ours. However, Interstate, off-Interstate or Tourist Oriented Directionals (TODs), and Museum and Historic signs in popular areas may have a wait-list.

Highway business signs and other types of traffic signs across the US are regulated by permits obtained through state agencies and counties. Things that affect waiting lists include:

  • Space availability
  • Sign congestion
  • Existing customer payment

Space availability: Precise regulations oversee sign categories at each approved location. Highway business signs may sometimes only accommodate a couple of logos while in other instances, eight logos might be displayed. Availability is also affected by business category or location. For example, a specific sign’s placement or location could be approved to display fueling station and food establishment logos, but not hotels or camp grounds. The opposite might be true at the next exit. If a sign approved for multiple logos displays only a single logo, there would most likely be no wait-list.

Sign congestion: Highway business signs are intended to inform drivers about essential services near exit ramps. At the same time, they must be clearly visible at 60 MPH and not block other vital highway information (such as exit numbers, warnings, or road construction). In areas where highways and cities are larger, sign congestion will affect wait-list time. In highly populated metropolitan areas like Portland, fewer options exist for new signs. Wait-lists may be shorter for off-Interstate signs, TODs, or Museum and Historic signs, depending on location density.

Existing customer payment: Many sign customers have long relationships with OTE. They are valued customers who submit their annual renewal payments on time, year after year. Yet there are times when businesses may fail to inform OTE of their intent to relinquish space or perhaps delay payment. OTE relies on customers to send us their renewal fees promptly or inform us of their current business status. We also follow through with delinquent accounts in an effort to move businesses forward from wait-lists.

Technical notes

There may be no waiting at all for a sign in your area–but if there is, you need to complete a permit application for your sign choice. No payment is required to be placed on a wait-list. OTE will do everything in its power to see that your request for a sign meets state and federal highway requirements. Our sign coordinator will also help you find a sign category that may move you off a wait-list sooner.

Read more about the permit application process and other frequently asked questions (FAQs) on our Highway Business Signs FAQs page.

Contact our Highway Business Signs Program via email or by phone: 1-800-574-9397 to find out about sign availability in your area.

*Note: Highway business signs are not considered advertising by state and federal regulations but termed “traffic control devices.”